Law Firm Halts Dem State Board Of Elections Attempted Rule Change

[REUTERS/Bianca Flowers]

Hailey Gomez General Assignment Reporter
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A court order halting the Illinois Board of Elections from attempting to change the rules for ballot access mid-election, which was pushed for by the Liberty Justice Center (LJC), was approved Wednesday, according to a press statement.

The law firm released a press statement announcing that the court upheld a hold on the Democratic state’s bill which was quickly signed into office by Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker in early May. This decision followed LJC’s filing of an emergency motion for a preliminary injunction May 13. (RELATED: Blue State Bill Reclassifies ‘Offenders’ As ‘Justice-Impacted Individuals’)

“We applaud the Court’s decision to uphold the rule of law and support voting rights for all people in Illinois,” Senior Counsel at LJC Jeffrey Schwab stated in the press release. “We look forward to continuing to defend these fundamental rights in court and will be pressing forward to ensure the preliminary injunction becomes permanent.”

The LJC filed a lawsuit against the Illinois Board of Elections in late May for allegedly “violating Illinoisans’ constitutional right to vote by repealing a campaign law mid-election.”

If upheld, P.A. 103-0586 would partially limit ballot access, affecting candidates running for the state legislature. Previously if no one ran in the state’s political party’s primary election, the party could nominate a candidate itself “provided the candidate gathered the required number of petition signatures.” This legislation would prevent either party from doing so.

“Have you ever heard of changing the rules for an actual election right in the middle of people actually getting their signatures,” Republican Illinois Sen. Terri Bryant told WSILTV, following Pritzker’s approval. “So at this point, we have multiple candidates, Democrat, and Republican candidates right now all over the state who are in the process of getting signatures to get on the ballot and now all of that stops.”

While the candidates are still allowed to run as independents, Bryant continued to state that not only does it require more signatures but noted that an independent “rarely” wins.

The halt of P.A. 103-0586 will pause the enforcement of the legislation while litigation continues, allowing candidates who have been affected by the changes “to proceed with the signature-gathering process and submit their candidacy petitions to the Board of Elections,” the LJC press statement revealed.

The next hearing is scheduled for June 3.